So often people go into the coaching relationship with a whole load of expectations that the coach will do all of the work for them, and that they in turn will receive an almost instantaneous transformation. I will confess, I was this person 2-years ago while working with Mindful Money Coach, Ilana Jankowitz.
I thought Ilana would wave her magic wand and transform everything around me into gold. There were great expectations of money flowing easily into my bank account, and I really thought that by coaching with her my business would automatically shift up a gear. But when this didn’t happen, and I’d convinced myself that I hadn’t received any transformation at all, I was left feeling frustrated, annoyed and angry. It seemed to me like all we did was waste endless time doing exercises focused on my past. I didn’t want to look in that direction. I wanted to focus on the present and moving my business forward.
It didn’t help that at the time I was pregnant with my little girl Myla and I really suffered through the full 9-months. I was mentally exhausted, physically depleted through constant vomiting and sickness, and still working.
But after I had Myla, and could finally take some time out, I had time to reflect on myself. I’ve been into coaching and personal development ever since I was a teenager. But sometimes when things don’t work out how I planned in my head, I’ve fallen back to old thinking, old patterns and old habits.
Since my time with Ilana I’ve done a lot more personal development and I saw the seeds that Ilana had quietly planted in me had begun to grow. Then a realisation hit me – that you don’t just change overnight, it’s a process and you have to be willing to change your old stories and patterns.
Ilana helped me identify my stories through her exercises but her coaching wasn’t just about making money, it was so much more. It was really about learning about myself – how I am, how I am with other people and my limiting beliefs that stop me from moving forward. This is what I had to deal with but had been resisting.
I’m grateful to Ilana for her patience and persistence and for the seeds of change she sewed in me. I recognised as well similarities between my expectations of coaching with Ilana and those that people have when they work with a stylist. People come into the relationship with an expectation of a transformation like they show on TV. What I’ve seen (and especially with the ladies who took part in my recent ‘Style with Confidence’ program, which will be launching again soon), was that helping them to own and be confident with their style was just about sewing seeds, giving them the tools and making small tweaks that made a big difference.
As with my work with Ilana, the magic happens when we break our old habits. I was constantly doing my old habits, but once I broke through them using some of the tools Ilana gave me, that’s when the real magic happened. And that’s what I see my clients do too.
As women we have certain roadblocks. When it comes to style it can be telling yourself you don’t have enough money to have style. Or you’re not the perfect size, or you can’t have the wardrobe you want because you don’t look like XYZ! We all have these kinds of blocks that can stop us from being the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential, or feeling confident about ourselves.
So that’s why I decided to catch up with Ilana, to let her tell you more about what she does and how she helps shift women’s road blocks, so they can heal their money mindset.
Over to you Ilana…
Q: Tell us a little bit about why you got into Money Coaching and how you help women transform their mindset?
Ilana: One of the women who really inspired me to get into Money Coaching was Lynne Twist. She’s a money coach and a philanthropist and I always had this vision that I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent. I wanted to be able to help women across the globe – from the poorest to the wealthiest communities – because their money problems are often very similar or come from the same source. The work that I do is to help women understand where their behaviours, beliefs and patterns come from and understand that they are manifesting the life that they’ve got.
“I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent”
I got into coaching because I needed it myself, and I’d put it off for quite a long time because I didn’t want to face it. Half my problem was that I was really set in my ways. I was the complete Tyrant archetype – controlling, manipulative, highly materialistic and I had all of those things around money because of my childhood. But in the end I went for it because it got to the stage where I knew I really had to fix it.
I remember at the time I was reading about Lynne Twist, and I listened to her being interviewed by Oprah, and I thought to myself, “I want to do that. I want to do coaching with girls from deprived communities, all the way to wealthy women, because as women we’ve all got the same struggles. That’s why I do what I do.”
Q: In your coaching work, what do you see as the number one obstacle for the women you work with?
Ilana: Self-esteem, not believing in themselves, basically their self-worth has been knocked. This comes from childhood, it comes from our parents comparing us to our siblings. It comes from us feeling that we’re not enough because we’re trying to live up to our parent’s expectations. Even as adults we still try to live up to our parents approval, but we often feel like we’re falling short.
“Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives”
When women are in business or trying to become financially empowered with their money situation, they often feel like they can’t do it, like they’re not strong enough. They don’t have the tools or believe enough in themselves, which is why I’ve started my “I AM” series. Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives, and this is connected to their self-worth.
I find that’s a universal problem. It doesn’t matter if I work with women with a lot of money, or women who have got no money at all, across the board it’s self-worth.
Q: One of the obstacles I find a lot of my clients come up against, is guilt for investing in good quality clothes for themselves. What advice would you give to help them get over this hurdle?
Ilana: I think clothing, especially for women in business, is your signature. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression and you get this opportunity only once, so a good investment in your outward appearance is vital. You don’t have to start your wardrobe from scratch every time, once you’ve made that initial investment, you’re then just adding to the basics. I think it’s very important to have a good wardrobe and especially a good one for work.
Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business. For instance in your business you invest in a new computer, new business cards, brochures or other equipment when you need them, and I believe clothing should also be on that list. It’s something that is actually really important because, as I said, you’ve only got a few seconds and one opportunity to make that first impression.
“Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business”
Women’s guilt with buying or investing in themselves is all wrapped up in the, ‘I don’t deserve’ mindset. That also comes from the way they feel about themselves and that they’re not good enough to spend money on themselves. For women who are in business, how you appear in your business is so important. You have to ask yourself if someone will want to work with you the way you look? If you’re going onto a call with a prospective client, they will see how you dress and remember you by it.
I often get that from people, they’ll refer to a video I did and say things like, “Oh that video you did in that grey top”, or something similar. People remember things about your appearance. Even if you don’t generally care that much about clothes, when it comes to work you have to.
Q: I meet so many women who find it hard to speak with their partner about money and will even hide new clothing purchases from them rather than face the conversation! How would you help them overcome this?
Ilana: I always encourage my clients to talk about money, and that money is not a taboo subject, so to talk about it with their partners and even with their children. Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money, and it can be something that’s quite exciting, especially when you’re planning ahead for certain things like a holiday or putting away money for your pension, or for clothing.
“Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money”
I believe that clothing, as I said before, is part of your business (if you’re in business or going into businesses) and that it’s an investment in ensuring you have the right tools for the job. I think the more open you are and the more honest your conversations are with your partner this helps them to understand that it’s important for you to make that investment.
Q: The last 14-months have been strange and challenging in a way we’ve never experienced before. For a lot of people this confinement in their home and a lack of freedom has brought up a lot of old stories and beliefs, which has really impacted their mental wellbeing. What would you say to help people overcome this?
Ilana: Be creative and do things differently. It’s been a different year so do things differently. You still need to show up, you still need to be seen, you still need to get dressed! You still need to put yourself out there. A lot of people haven’t shopped but they’ve invested in their business instead – clothing is part of your business. I’ve been able to help a lot of clients in the last year because I’m more present online. And more people are of course doing a lot more things online. So, it’s really important that you wash your hair, get dressed and show up!
Get some coaching support to find your niche and your why for doing what you’re doing.
Q: As businesses start to open again, and people want to start shopping again they may also be feeling nervous about spending money. What are your top coaching tips for setting up and sticking to a clothing budget?
Ilana: People need to know how much money they’ve got to spend. In other words, it’s not on credit cards, it’s not getting into debt, it’s making sure you have the budget for it. Start slowly and invest in one item at a time if that’s all your budget allows.
Also be sensible, know that there’s a long time between now and the next salary. Or, if they own their own business, where is the next money coming from? They need to watch their budget and look at why they’re spending. What emotions come up? Are you spending because you’re so happy to be out of the house now? Are you shopping out of boredom or just because you haven’t been able to shop for 4-months? Why are you shopping – what are you actually buying? Don’t let your emotions drive you to make a purchase. What drives a purchase should be a necessity – what you need.
“You need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids”
Interestingly I was being interviewed earlier today about women turning 40 and how they haven’t saved before. We talked about getting their life on track when it comes to their money and getting them communicating and understanding their money. Being aware of their expenses and being aware of their savings and being aware of their future. And it was quite funny because one of the women said, “Yes but thinking about pensions makes us feel old!” The reality is it doesn’t mean you’re retiring now, but you are saving and planning and not waiting until you’re 65 and thinking, “Oh dear I should have done this in my 20s!”
I always say that you need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids. What are you wanting to do, what’s your bigger picture? Is it just that you want to survive from month to month or do you want to be able to know that you can live the same lifestyle when you reach pension age? A lot of women don’t consider that, and a lot of them leave it up to their husbands. And unfortunately, for a lot of them, when their husbands reach a certain age they say, “Cheers” and then they’re off, which is what I learnt today from these women. Be prepared and be empowered with your money.
Q: I’m a big believer in morning routines and rituals. Do you have any morning routines or rituals that help you every day with your money mindset?
Ilana: Yes definitely! I have a morning routine that I do daily without fail and have been doing it for a few years now. And I always encourage my coaching clients to do the same, and that is to keep a gratitude diary. I also meditate daily as well. Gratitude is very, very important so if you start your day off with gratitude, every day you’ll find more things to be grateful for. It’s important to remember that money is also energy, and it flows to you and, also, away from you, so it’s also a wonderful way to start the day with an attitude of gratitude towards your money and the money in your business.
“I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life”
For me personally, when I do my gratitude obviously I include things that are important to me like my family and the positive energy that I have that I try to take into the day with me. I also have a strong prosperity and abundant focused mindset, and it’s one of the things that I say gratitude for every single day and even at night before I go to sleep. I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life, so it’s definitely a morning routine that I practice. And, as I mentioned, I encourage ALL my coaching clients to practice this too. At the start some of them say they can’t find things to be grateful for, but the more they practice, you know, the more they go from being able to think of two to five to ten things, as they get into the rhythm of it.
Q: What coaching tips would you give to help women connect with their self-worth and know that they deserve to invest in themselves?
Ilana: Believing that they’re enough. Believing that they need to talk positively about their lives. If they keep saying things like, “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this”, all the negativity is exactly what the outcome is going to be. If they keep telling themselves, “I can’t afford this now. I can’t invest in myself or buy these things. I’m waiting until I’m ready, until I’ve lost weight”, they’ll never do it. They need to actually make peace with it and with themselves.
They also need to learn to understand what’s driving their behaviour to feel that they don’t deserve it. Where does it come from? Things don’t just change overnight, you need to actually know where these beliefs come from. Often it’s from your childhood, things like, “Your brother’s so good at maths, why didn’t you get 90% for maths?” Things that have along the way knocked your confidence; realise that those things have happened and you couldn’t control it, but now you can. You can talk to yourself and say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. This is my time”. It’s about the words that you speak, the thoughts that you have, the mindset that you have over yourself.
Q: And finally, how can people connect for coaching with you?
Ilana: The Money Quiz on my website is a great place to start, and then I’ll be very happy to jump on a call with them. When they take my quiz they’ll be able to find out what’s driving their behaviour. Then we’ll have a chat about what I see in the quiz. It doesn’t only tell me what’s going on in their money story, it tells me what’s going on in their relationships, work, if they’re making money in their business. It will show me if they’re being an Innocent and giving the control over to someone else rather than to themselves. Or if they’re being a Victim and living in the past and not able to move forward. I’ll then be able to work through those issues with them.
So, that’s a wrap…I hope you enjoyed this interview with Ilana as much as I did and have taken away some nuggets of gold that you can apply in your life.
If you’re ready to take charge of your confidence and style, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat through the ways we can make that happen for you.